Intel's Core i9-10850K offers the same gaming experience as its more expensive flagship Core i9-10900K counterpart, and today you can score this chip from B&H Photo for $389, which is a new all-time low price for the chip by $30.
Our recent review summed it up quite nicely: If all you care about is gaming, the Core i9-10850K will give you the same solid experience as the Core i9-10900K, but at a significant discount. Now that discount is larger.
The 10850K has ten cores and 20 threads that operate at a 3.7 / 5.2 GHz base/boost frequency, which is more than snappy enough to provide the same gaming performance as its full-fledged 10900K counterpart, which operates at a 3.7/5.3 GHz base/boost.
Yeah, that's right - a mere 100 MHz separates the two chips on the headline frequency specs, but the 10850K has a lower 95W TDP, which means it doesn't boost as aggressively on all cores as the 125W TDP 10900K. So, while the chips are identical at gaming, the 10900K will take a slight lead in heavily-threaded applications.
That doesn't matter one bit to overclockers, though. Just like its more expensive counterpart, the Core i9-10850K is fully unlocked, meaning you can overclock it to the hilt. In our experience, and according to most of what we've seen online from actual users, the 10850K nearly always overclocks into the same effective range as the 10900K (typically a 5.1 GHz all-core max). At that point, performance is identical in everything.
You'll need a solid Z490 motherboard to pair with this new chip, and if you choose to upgrade in the future, Intel's Rocket Lake takes off early next year, and you'll be able to drop those chips into the same platform.
Overall, we were super impressed with the 10850K's blend of price and performance, and that was when it was available at its MSRP. This deal shaves off quite a bit of that pricing, making it even more attractive. Sure, there are faster chips, like AMD's Ryzen 5000, but those chips are nearly impossible to find this holiday season, and we expect that trend to continue until early next year. Also, you'll need a super high-end GPU and monitor to notice the difference at this point, though a bit of extra GPU horsepower might help out if you plan on future GPU upgrades. At this price point, it's pretty hard to pass up on the 10850K, especially if you need to build a system now.
For more savings, check our list of best Cyber Monday deals overall, best Cyber Monday monitor deals, best Cyber Monday SSD deals, best Cyber Monday CPU deals, best Cyber Monday graphics card deals, best Cyber Monday laptop deals, best Cyber Monday gaming PC deals and best Cyber Monday Raspberry Pi deals.
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Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.